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Aspirin Use May Raise Risk of Vision Loss

Posted Feb 01 2013 10:09pm
Posted on Jan. 29, 2013, 6 a.m. in Age-related Macular Degeneration

Aspirin is among the most widely used medications in the world, most notaby utilized in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in older people, with its neovascular (wet) form the more visually debilitating.   Gerald Liew, from the University of Sydney (Australia), and colleagues examined whether regular aspirin use (defined as once or more per week in the past year) was associated with a higher risk of developing AMD.  The team completed a prospective analysis of data from an Australian study that included four examinations during a 15-year period. Of 2,389 participants, 257 individuals (10.8%) were regular aspirin users.  After the 15-year follow-up, 63 individuals (24.5%) developed incident neovascular AMD, according to the results. Observing that: "The cumulative incidence of neovascular AMD among nonregular aspirin users was 0.8% at five years, 1.6% at 10 years, and 3.7% at 15 years; among regular aspirin users, the cumulative incidence was 1.9% at five years, 7% at 10 years and 9.3% at 15 years, respectively," the study authors observe that: “Regular aspirin use was significantly associated with an increased incidence of neovascular [age-related macular degeneration]."

Gerald Liew, Paul Mitchell, Tien Yin Wong, Elena Rochtchina, Jie Jin Wang.  “Association of Aspirin With Macular Degeneration.”  JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():1-7;  January 21, 2013.

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#115 - Emergency Water Disinfection
In the event of a natural disaster, which may compromise your access to water from your tap or bottle source, follow these techniques to purify water for drinking:

  Boiling - vigorously, for 10 minutes

  Bleaching - add 10-20 drops of household bleach per gallon of water, mix well, and let stand for 30 minutes. A slight smell or taste of chlorine indicates water is good to drink. (Note: do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners.)

  Tablets - commercially available purification tablets

  Solar disinfection, known as SODIS - a new technique developed by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology. Clear plastic bottles are filled with water and left in the sun. The heat warms the water and the combination of warm water and ultraviolet radiation kills most microorganisms. The Institute’s tests showed that 99.9% of the E. coli in a sample of contaminated water were killed when the sun heated the water beyond 122F (50C). At that temperature, disinfection takes about an hour, but placing a corrugated metal sheet under the bottle can shorten the time. Additional tests demonstrate SODIS as an effective approach for killing the cholera bacteria, Vibrio cholerae, and that it could inactivate parasites including the diarrhea-causing Cryptosporidium.
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